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Police attack journalists protesting earlier BNP attack on newspaper; eight injured

(IFJ/IFEX) - The following is an IFJ media release:

IFJ concerned over continued violence in Bangladesh

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is concerned over continuing violence against journalists in Bangladesh, after eight journalists were injured during a demonstration on May 31.

The journalists were protesting attacks on the newspaper, Dainik Andolaner Bazar, by members of the ruling Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) on May 31, which forced the newspaper to suspend publication.

"The IFJ is concerned that reports of violence against journalists in Bangladesh are continuing and urges the government to act to intervene to stop this spate of attacks and ensure the culprits are brought to justice," IFJ president Christopher Warren said.

The journalists marched from the Satkhira Press Club to the courts to submit a memorandum demanding the immediate arrest and punishment of the attackers on Dainik Andolaner Bazar journalists.

The police charged journalists with batons when journalists tried to enter the courts to submit the memorandum.

The injured media workers included: Kalyan Banerjee of Prothom Alo; M Qamruzzaman of UNB; Amar Desh, Habibur Rahman of Channel I; Mozaffar Rahman of Janmobhumi, Raghunath Kha of Patradoot; Manirul Islam of Ajker Kagoj; and photojournalists Ashrafuzzaman Asha and Tamjibur Rahman Tamjid.

Journalists later defied police obstruction by forming a human chain around the court premises for thirty minutes.

This comes only days after 25 journalists were injured in an attack by BNP members at a protest for press freedom.

"The IFJ calls upon the Bangladesh Government to carefully consider the memorandum, and to put an end to the violence against journalists, before the situation further deteriorates," Warren said.

The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 110 countries.

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